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Liberty PowerAntislavery Third Parties and the Transformation of American Politics$
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Corey M. Brooks

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226307282

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226307312.001.0001

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Antislavery Upheaval in the Capitol: The Wilmot Proviso Debates and the Widening Sectional Divide, 1846–1848

Antislavery Upheaval in the Capitol: The Wilmot Proviso Debates and the Widening Sectional Divide, 1846–1848

Chapter:
(p.104) (p.105) Chapter Four Antislavery Upheaval in the Capitol: The Wilmot Proviso Debates and the Widening Sectional Divide, 1846–1848
Source:
Liberty Power
Author(s):

Corey M. Brooks

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226307312.003.0007

This chapter highlights the extent to which many of the Liberty Party’s antislavery and anti-Slave Power arguments came to infiltrate congressional discourse in debates over the Wilmot Proviso, the policy first proposed in 1846 that the U.S. Congress bar slavery from all western territory acquired through the ongoing Mexican-American War. Over the ensuing congressional sessions, the vast majority of northern Whigs and Democrats went to great lengths to advocate non-extension of slavery and justified this demand with increasingly militant anti-Slave Power rhetoric. In the process, members registered, sometimes implicitly but often openly, the mounting antislavery constituent pressure that many mainstream northern congressmen now faced.

Keywords:   Wilmot Proviso, Liberty Party, Slave Power, antislavery, non-extension, U.S. Congress

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